Sonya Rokoff acting as a representative of a European importing firm hires Victor Poten (Bela Lugosi), a Eurasian mad scientist who hates both whites and Asians, to ruin the tourist trade in San Francisco's Chinatown. Rokoff soon realizes that Poten has become an unstoppable monster, beyond her control. Poten's nefarious activities draw the attention of newspaper reporter Joan Whiting and her novelist boyfriend Martin Andrews who begin to investigate the mysterious, and violent events in Chinatown.
August 14, 2009 Subject:
A business is seeing too much competition from San Francisco's booming Chinatown. It's agent in Chinatown, a Dragon Lady of sorts, is told to take care of it. She hires Lugosi's character, a thoroughly mad scientist, to help her ruin Chinatown's merchants. Lugosi's men strike! A spunky and ambitious female reporter decides to call on a paternalistic stiff of an expert on Chinatown to help find out what's what. The story develops with the usual serial silliness from there.
Expect the usual characterizations and production values found in serials. Racism, sexism and plot holes abound.
I downloaded the MPEG-4 files. There are many missing frames in the early episodes, and it appears that during the transfer from film a good portion on each side was cropped off, which is especially noticeable on the left side when the credits and forewords are shown. The video was otherwise fine. I had trouble understanding a lot of dialogue, but the story was simple enough to follow anyway. The audio improves in later episodes.
Despite all these issues, I enjoyed the serial, and recommend it to others who enjoy them.